Letters, April 30, 2015


More Palestinians will die in Syria
The “real Palestinian tragedy,” according to your editorial, (“A real Palestinian tragedy, WJW, April 16), “has always been their use as pawns by the Arab and Western worlds.”  Well, yes and no.

People who are the pawns of others lack agency, that is, the capacity to make their own choices. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago, the Palestinians have had many opportunities to make their own choices, but they have either failed to do so; allowed themselves to be manipulated by others, particularly by other Arabs; or made terrible choices all their own. The Yarmouk refugee horrors are but the latest chapter in a long miserable saga, and the Palestinians have made their own contributions to it by refusing the helping hand Israel offered.

As reported 15 months ago, on Jan 28, 2013, by the Associated Press — no Jewish press organ, to be sure — through the United Nations’ Ban Ki-Moon “Israel agreed to allow 150,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria into the West Bank and Gaza as long as they relinquished the right of return to what is now Israel.”  Mahmoud Abbas told journalists, “(W)e rejected that and said it’s better they die in Syria than give up their right of return.”  So many more Palestinians have died and will die in Syria since Abbas made that choice for them in the interests of relentless resistance.

Perhaps if the WJW, along with Ha’aretz, gave fuller accounts of the relevant news, the world might better understand the Middle East and its brutal conflicts.


J Street is detrimental to Israel
In reference to the recent articles referencing J Street in the context of Israel (“J Street pushes back,” WJW, March 26), it is time for J Street to be exposed for what it really is: An organization that is detrimental to the security and well-being of Israel.

At its recent policy conference, J Street invited known terrorist-sympathizer Saeb Erekat to address its delegates. Erekat, currently the head Palestinian Authority negotiator, has previously said that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and compared Israel’s actions to that of ISIS. Based on these hateful and ignorant statements, how can one legitimately say that that the Palestinian Authority wants peaceful reconciliation with Israel?

On nearly every issue, J Street takes positions that are detrimental to Israel’s security and well-being. They have previously opposed sanctions on Iran, supported boycotts against Israeli goods produced in the disputed territories, and even suggested that Israel form a dialogue with Hamas, a terrorist organization with a charter that aims to destroy Israel. Most recently, in a meeting at the White House, they encouraged President Obama to abandon veto protection of Israel at the United Nations.

J Street describes itself as a “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” organization. But J Street is not, by any definition, a Pro-Israel organization. J Street takes positions closely aligned to anti-Israel groups, especially those who wish to delegitimize and defame Israel, rather than to those who support Israel.
Silver Spring

From washingtonjewishweek.com

What Meitivs are doing is how most prior generations were raised
Agree that the term “free-range” applied to children is offensive (“Free-range fracas,” WJW, April 23). Also problematic that the Meitivs permit their children’s names and photos to appear in the media. That is dangerous.

However, the substance of what the Meitivs are doing is how most baby boomers and prior generations were reared. As 6-year-olds, we played in the woods and creeks of the area. As
first-graders, we were entrusted to walk 1½ miles or more from school unaccompanied, or if girls perhaps with classmate boys. By age 10, it was bike rides miles away.

I don’t believe the local area is more dangerous today than in the 1950s, but only that technology permits local TV news reporting of every incident.

Montgomery County is making itself a national laughing stock in its silly over-caution.

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